For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Slow Jam Saturday: Missy Elliott feat. Beyoncé, Nothing Out There For Me
The year was 2002, and Missy Elliot was almost a decade into her career and had already created classic songs. That summer, “Work It,” the lead single from her fourth album, Under Construction which was a homage to old school, quickly became Missy’s most successful single, charting at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
As she had with her previous albums, Missy Included a couple of slow jams on the album, one of which is this week’s pick for Slow Jam Saturday. Of the two slow jams, I didn’t feel that it was appropriate to try and write about “Pussycat” as a male. I decided to go with the Beyonce-assisted “Nothing Out There.” Queen Bey and Mismendaor had previously collaborated on “Confessions,” “Crazy Feelings,” “Get on the Bus,” and the remix to “Bootylicious,” so naturally, the chemistry was there.
At this point in her career, Beyonce wasn’t the global icon she is now, but her momentum increased following her role in Austin Powers In Goldmemeber and her debut solo single “Work It Out.” The song begins with Missy calling Bey for a girl’s night. Missy offers some humorous roast about her friend’s man before Bey lets her know she is just going to stay in for the night with her man.
What I enjoy about this particular song is Missy gives off the vibe of a big sister to Bey. Highly underrated vocalist Tweet provides background vocals, so Bey brings her A-game on the vocals. Missy and Bey’s chemistry is as strong here as on previous songs, and I always wondered how a joint EP would have sounded between the two.
The duo’s latest collabo is about someone choosing to stay in a committed relationship despite their outside temptations. The lyrics depict a woman’s friends trying to convince her to go partying, but her boyfriend isn’t keen on the idea. The man feels insecure and thinks others influence her, but she stays in her relationship because she loves her partner and is sure that nothing out there can compare to them. She emphasizes that her commitment to her partner is strong enough to make it through these outside temptations.
The chorus emphasizes that she’d rather stay with her man than go out partying because her man is “the only one that I’m thinking’ about.” Through this song, Missy Elliott and Beyoncé portray the importance of staying in a relationship despite temptations and that staying in a committed relationship is more fulfilling than any other option.
Missy recently mentioned one of her biggest regrets was not releasing this song as a single and shooting a video. Given Missy’s visual eye, I can only imagine how cinematic the song’s visual would have been.
Final Grade: B+
“Nothing out There For Me” from Under Construction is available on all streaming platforms
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.